Mediterranean migrant crisis: Grand Master calls for immediate action
Rome, 22 April 2015
Lampedusa: Order of Malta medical teams prepare to board a migrant boat
Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing, in acknowledging the work of the Order of Malta’s Italian Emergency Corps (CISOM) so deeply involved in the current migrant crisis off the coast of southern Italy, declared: ‘This shocking loss of life and this callous smuggling must stop. It behoves all civilised nations of every belief to set in place appropriate measures to help the desperate but also to exhort these criminals to cease their dreadful activities.
‘The Order of Malta has been working since 2008 with the Italian Coastguard, Guardia di Finanza and the Italian navy, providing medical assistance to the thousands of boat people arriving on these shores. Neither the Coastguard nor the Order of Malta were prepared for the torrents of immigrants we are seeing in these desperate weeks.’